The Dogs

1989, 17:21 min, color, sound

Writes Barr, "The Dogs portrays a man on a doomed holiday as he moves through a mythic landscape of fear and desire. An abstract narrative with no dialogue, it depicts a man alone in his apartment, drinking in the heat of a summer day. He drifts into thoughts and memories of a stay by the sea, [where] images of a menacing dog represent an obstacle on his walks to the water." Barr's nuanced construction of the narrative, heightened by a visual economy of means, a subtle ambient soundtrack, and a spiralling camera movement, intensifies the sense of tension and claustrophobic anxiety. The man's inner life becomes increasingly enigmatic. The question of whether the dogs are real or imagined is left deliberately ambiguous as Barr maps out an unsettling psychological terrain.

Director: Burt Barr. With: Stephen Mueller. Camera: Burt Barr, Howard Grossman. Recordist: Karen Achenbach. Editors: Burt Barr, Kathy High, Robert Burden. Sound Mix: Connie Kieltyka. Music: "God Bless America," Kate Smith.